52 Books: #1 - Men at Arms by Terry Pratchett
Book: Men at Arms
Author: Terry Pratchett
Page count: 377
Date started: 01/01/18
Date finished: 09/01/18
“The reason that the rich were so rich, Vimes reasoned, was because they managed to spend less money.
Take boots, for example. He earned thirty-eight dollars a month plus allowances. A really good pair of leather boots cost fifty dollars. But an affordable pair of boots, which were sort of OK for a season or two and then leaked like hell when the cardboard gave out, cost about ten dollars. Those were the kind of boots Vimes always bought, and wore until the soles were so thin that he could tell where he was in Ankh-Morpork on a foggy night by the feel of the cobbles.
But the thing was that good boots lasted for years and years. A man who could afford fifty dollars had a pair of boots that'd still be keeping his feet dry in ten years' time, while the poor man who could only afford cheap boots would have spent a hundred dollars on boots in the same time and would still have wet feet. This was the Captain Samuel Vimes 'Boots' theory of socioeconomic unfairness.”
It's quite unfair to start my 52 Books challenge with a Pratchett. It means that everything else I read this year has to live up to his standard.
Men at Arms pokes fun at the police, incompetent handling of racial tensions in built-up cities and the myth of the Great Man historical school of thought all rolled into one excellent narrative. Pratchett's wit is as sharp as it ever was and he remains the only author to ever make me laugh out loud while reading a book.
Now, where did I put Feet of Clay...?